Booker to extend its pub offers with Classic deal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Booker, Food and drink, Better, Alcoholic beverage

Booker, the food and drink wholesaler, plans to extend its supply service to the on-trade following the acquisition of Classic Drinks from Halewood...

Booker, the food and drink wholesaler, plans to extend its supply service to the on-trade following the acquisition of Classic Drinks from Halewood International.

The group bought Classic for a cash consideration equivalent to the total gross asset value of £4.0m.

Charles Wilson, the group's chief executive, said the acquisition would help Booker improve the service it already offers to its 48,000 UK on-trade customers.

"We are seen as a cash and carry a wholesaler, rather than a specific on-trade supplier, so Classic will help us extend our service levels, while we can add the customer relationship experience we already have," he said, adding that building skills in these areas was vital.

Classic currently has 2,000 on-trade accounts, he said. Booker's beer sales amounted to £200m annually, with bottled ales performing well. There were also plans to up the ante on the premium spirits side, Wilson said.

The company was meanwhile forging close links with the BII over the issue of responsible drinks offers, he added.

Wilson was speaking about the acquisition as Booker revealed half year profits up 24.2 per cent at £36.9m on turnover of £1.7bn, up 5.5 per cent.

The group posted a net cash position at the half year mark of £10.1m, versus £4m of net debt at the same point last year.

Wilson said: "Booker is helping more customers compete by improving our choice, prices and service.

"Our sales growth is good and our plans to broaden the business are progressing well. We are delighted to bring Classic and specialty food supplies provider Ritter into the Booker Group.

"Each company brings new expertise to Booker and will help the group offer an even better choice and service to caterers in the UK."

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